Public Utilities - Quality Drinking Water

What's Coming Out of Your Tap?

Do you wonder about your water when you turn on the tap or do a load of laundry?  Or maybe, you don't give it much thought unless the water isn't there when you need it? We at Public Utilities think about water all the time and are continuously working to protect our supplies, ensure water quality and safety, and deliver to you without interruption a high quality and tasty product.
 
Providing the best water quality possible is a goal of Public Utilities. We work hard to protect your water resources and to treat your drinking water to the highest standards.  We want to meet your expectations but cannot identify issues without your help. If you have water quality concerns please call them in; we are more than happy to speak with you. Call Marian Rice at 801.483.6765 or email him at Marian.Rice@slcgov.com.
 

Drinking Water

Your tap water is safe to drink! Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities serves water to the City and the east bench of Salt Lake County, including the communities of Cottonwood Heights, Holladay City, and Mill Creek Township. We also deliver water to portions of South Salt Lake and Murray.
 
Salt Lake City drinking water complies with or exceeds all EPA requirements. The majority of our water is from mountain streams and it is fully treated before it goes in the pipes to you.  Deep wells are added during the summer months to supplement the flows. Water from the wells also meets all drinking water standards, though the water is harder and contains more minerals than the surface water. This means that during the summer months you may find more white scale left behind from the tap water, though this is an aesthetic issue and does not affect quality.

Drinking Water Monitoring

Salt Lake City Public Utilities (SLC Public Utilities) prides itself on the excellent drinking water provided to our consumers.  Annually we publish a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) that has documented, throughout the years, Salt Lake City’s excellent water quality.  SLC Public Utilities monitors drinking water for safety by sampling and analyzing for a wide range of Federal- and State-regulated contaminants, compounds, and analytes (e.g., metals, radionuclides, microbials, disinfection byproducts, volatile organic compounds).  The current Consumer Confidence Report is available on-line at www.slcgov.com/ccr .  In addition to the regulated monitoring we routinely perform, SLC Public Utilities also contributes to ongoing research efforts with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and local and national agencies and universities.  For example, we participate in the US EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rules (UCMR) program, see below.

 

US EPA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule

The 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) stipulate that the US EPA issue, once every five years, a new list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by public water systems (PWS).  The US EPA has published three UCMRs.  UCMR 1 in 1999, UCMR 2 in 2007, and the UCMR 3 in 2012.  The UCMRs provide the US EPA and other interested parties scientifically valid data regarding the occurrence of contaminants in drinking water.  Collecting information about the occurrence of unregulated compounds in water supplies is the first step in the US EPA’s efforts to determine whether they should be regulated.  Contaminant monitoring is used by the US EPA, states, tribes, water systems, and other partners to protect drinking water across the country.  In order to assess the risk posed by a contaminant, health information is required; however, for non-regulated contaminants the analytical data and health information is often absent.  Therefore, UCMR collects and examines data from across the country to determine what is in the drinking water.  Using the data, the US EPA can assess the number of people potentially being exposed; and provide an estimate of the levels of that exposure.  This data set along with other health information and other studies is used by the
US EPA to develop regulatory decisions for contaminants of concern.

 

Program-wide, approximately 6,000 PWSs participate in UCMR.  As a participant in the UCMR programs, SLC Public Utilities has collected and analyzed water samples from our treatment plants, groundwater wells, and entry point to the distribution system.  The samples are tested using US EPA-approved analytical methods and the results are delivered to the US EPA for further evaluation.  SLC Public Utilities will continue to work with US EPA and will keep our consumers informed of any developments. Should the US EPA ultimately determine that regulation is warranted for any of the UCMR study compounds, SLC Public Utilities will work with the regulatory agencies to best protect the health of our customers.

 

SLC Public Utilities UCMR3 sampling results indicated that the UCMR3-listed volatile organic compounds, synthetic organic compounds, perfluorinated compounds, and hormones were not detected.  Some of the UCMR3-listed naturally occurring metals (see the table below) as well as chlorate were detected.

 

Salt Lake City Results for UCMR 3 

Contaminant

UCMR3 List or description

Maximum concentration in
parts per billion (ppb)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

Not detected

Synthetic Organic Compounds

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

Not detected

Perfluorinated Compounds

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

Not detected

Hormones

Refer to UCMR3 list 2 Contaminants

Not detected

Chlorate

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

290

Total Chromium

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

2.2

Hexavalent Chromium

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

2.0

Molybdenum

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

4.4

Strontium

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

1,700

Vanadium

Refer to UCMR3 list 1 Contaminants

1.9

 

List 1 Un-Regulated Contaminants: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), synthetic organic compounds (SOCs), metals, chlorate, and perfluorinated compounds):

Refer to UCMR3_FactSheet_List1:   http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ucmr/ucmr3/upload/UCMR3_FactSheet_List1.pdf

List 2 Un-Regulated Compounds: Hormones: 

Refer to UCMR3_FactSheet_List2:   http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ucmr/ucmr3/upload/UCMR3_FactSheet_List2.pdf

 

SLC Public Utilities takes pride in the quality of water we deliver and takes great effort to protect our source water.  For additional information regarding UCMR 3 please refer to the US EPA website; http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ucmr/ucmr3/

Water Quality

Clean, safe drinking water comes at a price.  The cost for cleaning water up to drinking water standards depends on how clean the stream or well is to start. Poor quality water costs more to treat, uses more energy, and increases the potential for public health issues. Help us continue to provide you with the best water possible. Follow all watershed, groundwater, and riparian corridor regulations. 
 
Find out more about protecting the source of our water here.